Primal return with their sophomore album Humachine, an album filled with elements from early thrash bands.
Primal first gained notoriety with the release of their self-titled debut album as they featured members from bands like HIrax and Deliverance as well as the Argentinian bands V8 and Logos. Just like with their debut, Humachine was produced by Grammy –winner Iggy Elisabetsky at D-Organization Studios in Los Angeles with mastering done by Rob Colwell at Bombworks Studios in Texas.
Humachine opens up with “The Cage”, a song with a catchy, heavy riff driving a song that retains a sense of melody. Being my first exposure to the band, I hear element of late 80s-early 90s metal and thrash and to my ears the overall sound and production seems a bit like a throwback to that era. Everything is clear in the mix but the low end seems a bit lost. Alberto Zamarbide’s vocals are smooth and mostly stay in relatively neutral space avoiding the high and low registers.
“Humachine” does have a bit of a Dio-era Sabbath feel to it in terms of tone and the opening riff, which is cool to hear. In contrast, “Firefighter” picks up the pace significantly from the outset and hearkens back to an earlier age. I do appreciate the bass line coming through strongly in the mix partway through the song as well as how the guitars pick things up from there going into the solo as well as the drum work by Jorge Iacobellis who really shines on this track.
“Unleash in Madness” starts out with a throwback riff very reminiscent of the heavier metal bands from the 80s and Zamarbide’s vocals fit perfectly in that realm. At this point, though, I am starting to get the feeling that the overall sound seems a bit dated and sounds as if it was recorded in the mid to late 80s. The opening riff to “End Times” very much reinforces this but it is saved once the song takes off and gets moving. Iacobellis drum work in this track really saves it for me and keeps it interesting. “Warrior’s Code” breaks from the norm in terms of structure and features a nice thrashy intro with a guitar solo built in as the song quickly moves to a fast gallop. Unfortunately, the chorus sections show a bit too much in common with previous eras and come across without the power the rest of the song makes one expect. I will say that Glenn Rogers guitar solo in this song is really worth a listen and that overall the guitar work is really good but seems to be a bit limited in impact from the mix and overall production.
I love the opening riff in “Saviour” and wish that there was more power in the overall sound from the guitars here in this song as they come across sounding thin. This is the first of the songs that have elements reminiscent of Metallica, especially the guitar tone in parts. As another example of this the closing song “Ever” will bring to mind the Metallica song “One” in probably everyone who hears it.
Overall, Primal has put together a solid collection of songs that bring back memories of thrash and metal from days past. Unfortunately the overall sound seems to be still in that era, but if you are looking for a new album with that sound, this is one you need to hear.
Written by John Jackson
- The Cage
- Humachine (Heavy Toll)
- Unleash in Madness
- End Times
- Warrior’s Code
- Infernal Nightmare
- Bantu’s Victory
Alberto Zamarbide – vocals
Jorge Iacobellis – drums
Glenn Rogers – guitars
Cesar Ceregatti – bass
Release Date: March 24, 2023
Record Label: No Life Til Metal Records
Video for ‘Warriors Code’